Review & Links
Regular season is over, here is what we learned heading to the playoffs:
- The Jets own Sun Death Stadium!
- The Buffalo Bills put an end to two long streaks
- The New England Patriots changed philosophy heading to the post season
- The Miami Dolphins finish the way most of us thought they would
The Jets had a horrible season to say the least, but for the second straight year they traveled to Miami and embarrassed the favorites. This was Rex’s last hurrah in Green and White, and the players made sure he left with a win. Say what you will about Rex, he has always been able to get his players to play for him, even when there is nothing at stake (can’t say the same about Lifeless Joe). Geno finished the way he did last year, by playing well last few weeks of the season, and ending with a perfect QBR. Too little too late. Jets will move on with a good pick and a huge amount of CAP space, while only having to resign one UFA, David Harris.
Rex and Idzik were both fired as expected and Woody Johnson has hired Casserly and former Jets Personnel Director, Ron Woolf, to get help in hiring a new GM/HC. I like this move, last time he hired some independent talent team and we got a CAP specialist. I’m sure Woody finds a way to mess this up too.
The Bills finished with the first winning record in what seems like a lifetime, it was a great season for sure, even after having lost Kiko. Marrone had no problems benching his #1 pick QB and going with a guy piked up from the scrap yard, that takes something many HCs today do not have. At the time I though it was foolish, and I still think it was. With Orton retiring they still have EJ to turn to and how do you trust him? The season could have given you answers. I would rather be 8-8 and know what I have in my franchise QB than go 9-7 (no playoffs) and the guy that took me there retired. Bills have an excellent defense, and that is why they ended at 9-7, the offense is as anemic as there is, another reason why benching EJ was dumb.
Season ends by ending New England’s home streak, and the great feeling of 9 wins suddenly is replaced with turmoil, Bills style. Orton retired, Marrone will remain on payroll but coaching somewhere else; realization that on draft day they will not pick until late second. Jets, Dolphins both will have picked at least two players each by the time the Bills make a decision. The good news is that they are not in a CAP mess, but don’t really have enough room to fill all their needs.
The Patriots never stop playing in the last game heading to by weeks, why did they this year? Or did they? Regardless Bills handed their first home loss to a AFC team in many years, even if it matters very little, other than give the Bills a winning record. This year’s Patriots are probably the best since their last SB win, at least in my opinion. They do not have the fire power at WR, but their run game is solid and their defense is better than it has been in a long time. At this time of year, WRs are not winning you SBs, defenses are (see 2007). Their opponents leading to the playoffs are not unbeatable in Foxboro, it would be a shock if they are not representing the AFC next month.
The Miami Dolphins have become very predictable under Joe Philbin: make all fans dream big by week 12, then begin the slide that eventually becomes another 8-8 season and no playoffs. The Jets came to play, the Fins had their bathing suits on; Rex had his team (3-12) playing hard, Philbin (8-7) playing like it didn’t matter. The shock? Philbin still has a job. In today’s NFL its all about what have you done for me lately, and Joe has done nothing. This team has blamed two different OCs, yet the results with the third are still the same. To make matters worst as of today with the likes of Odrick, Moreno, Satele, Clay. Shelby all UFAs, the team still sits at 2.3M over the CAP. It is expect that the CAP goes up 5-10M, and that should help, but it is clear that cuts, restructures would need to be made.